Aina Mahal

Top choice palace in Bhuj

This beautiful palace, built in 1752, lost its top storey in an earthquake, but the lower floor is open, with a fantastic 15.2m scroll showing a Kutch state procession. The 18th-century elaborately mirrored interior is a demonstration of the fascination with all things European – an inverted mirror of European Orientalism – with blue-and-white Delphi-style tiling, a candelabra with Venetian-glass shades, and the Harding lithograph series The Rake’s Progress. There are lofty views of Rani Mahal from atop the tower.

The palace was built for Maharao Lakhpatji by Ramsingh Malam, a sailor from Dwarka who had learnt European arts and crafts on his travels. In the bedroom is a bed with solid gold legs (the king apparently auctioned his bed annually). In the Fuvara Mahal room, fountains played around the ruler while he sat watching dancers or composing poems.